He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” John 1:43
The first disciples did not come to Jesus in the same way. They had different stories, and they came by different means.
1. Gospel proclamation
Two of John’s disciples “followed Jesus” (1:37), and they did this because they heard John the Baptist say, “Behold the Lamb of God!” One of those disciples was Andrew (1:40). Many believe that the other was John, the apostle and author of the fourth Gospel. So, the very first disciples of Jesus came to follow him through the preaching ministry of John the Baptist.
2. Personal invitation
Peter became a follower of Jesus through a personal invitation from his brother, Andrew. “[Andrew] found his own brother Simon and said to him ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which means Christ)” (1:40-42). Then we have these beautiful words, “He brought him to Jesus” (1:42). Andrew brought his brother to Jesus by sharing his own testimony.
Think about your family circle, your friends and neighbors, your workplace. Who needs to meet and follow Jesus? Some people come to Christ through the public preaching of the gospel (that’s why it is a good thing to invite people to church!), but others are brought to Christ by the personal influence of family or friends.
3. Direct intervention
“Jesus… found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me’” (1:43). As far as we can tell, no other agency was involved. Jesus Christ stepped directly into his life. Christ does this and we should pray that he will. When people in your life are not open to a personal invitation, and they won’t listen to gospel preaching, you can ask God to make a direct intervention in their lives, to lay hold of them by his Spirit and bring about a change of heart.
How did you become a follower of Jesus?